Tacos target takeaways

AMERICAN dining chain Tricon Restaurants International is planning to launch Taco Bells in WA, targeting a number of key sites for the Mexican-themed fast-food chain.

The company confirmed to Business News that it was looking to bring the big American chain to WA, but would not comment on speculation about the number of sites the company wanted.

WA’s fast-food business is considered well developed, with some industry sources suggesting the sector is as competitive as any comparable market in the US.

Taco Bells marketing director Simon Spoule said that Taco Bells was examining opportunities in Perth.

But Mr Sproule said he could not comment on the nature of the plans because things were still at a delicate stage and he did not want to alert competitors about Tricon’s intentions.

However, industry speculation suggests that Taco Bells is looking at about six sites around the Perth metropolitan area.

Tricon Restaurants owns Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bells. While KFC and Pizza Hut have expanded throughout Australia, Taco Bells has only seven stores – all of which are in Sydney.

Tricon Restaurants is the world’s largest food service company with 30,000 outlets in 92 countries and sales in excess of $US20 billion.

Tricon was formerly a division of Pepsi Co.

In the South Pacific region alone there are more than 1,000 KFC and Pizza Hut stores.

Goodwin, Mitchell, O’Hehir & Associates business broker Jim Goodwin said site selection was a crucial task.

“For example, in Subiaco you have coffee operations which earn six times that of another coffee operator simply because of location,” Mr Goodwin said.

“A lot of the groups have site selection templates that they work to actually secure the right location for themselves.

“They would look at their own perimeters, what they required out of a site, like passing traffic and demographics are a big component of this decision.”

Mr Goodwin said often an opportunity for a fast-food operator arose when another business suffered.

He said an obvious example was where fashion shops or old service station sites had hit the wall leaving behind an ideal location site for fast-food operators.

“Some of the big boys price themselves out of a location. Unless they can get a certain level of turnover, it’s actually better to leave it to someone else,” he said.

“And there are definitely some concepts which are more successful then others.”

Mr Goodwin believes some of the concepts were slowing down but there was still a place for them.

“McDonald’s and all the rest certainly paved the way for people to eat outside, but there are other situations where people are looking for a better offering now,” he said.

“The $3 hamburger still has an ongoing role but so does the $10 or $12 pizza.”

Taco Bells general manager and Tricon Restaurants chief marketing manager Greg Creed, who is in Singapore this week for an international Tricon Restaurants convention,, was unavailable to comment.

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